Twitter; A Quick Getting Started Guide

I was just asked by a friend for a quick intro to Twitter. Having gone through the basic confusion of what this is all about when I started, I figured I would write up a quick overview. Here goes…

  1. Twitter is a micro-blogging site in which you can post articles comprised of 140 characters or fewer.
  2. A Twitter account is free. It is easy to start, and only takes a couple of minutes. Start Your Twitter Account here.
  3. A ‘tweet’ is a post. Any time you post a new thought, idea, announcement or link, it is referred to as a ‘tweet’. Start tweeting.
  4. Twitter is a connectivity tool that acts like a giant conversation. You can read what others are saying, and they can read what you are saying.
  5. To monitor what someone is writing, you ‘follow’ them. When you follow someone, their posts appear in your Twitter feed on your Home page. Follow Me.
  6. When people are interested in what you have to say, they can ‘follow’ you, too.
  7. To follow someone, simply visit their ‘Home’ page in Twitter and click the Follow button under their profile picture.
  8. Twitter keeps track of all the people you are following, and those who are following you. Their is a handy stats display at the top of your Home page.
  9. To find people or topic threads in Twitter, use http://search.twitter.com. This tool will become your best friend, and is where you can conduct searches and research.
  10. There are lots of philosophies on what to post, and who to follow. But there are no rules. Keep it clean and find birds of your feather.
  11. You can reply to other people in Twitter in two ways; public and private.
  12. To reply publicly, simply include the person’s Twitter name in the post. A Twitter name is preceded by an ‘@’ symbol, and looks like this: @carysnowden
  13. A public reply will be seen by all your followers, and might look like this: ‘Hey @jack_hadley, thanks for your comment on this article.’
  14. To send a private reply or note, simply replace the ‘@’ symbol with a lower-case ‘d’ and a space, like this: d jack_hadley, don’t tell anyone about this note.’
  15. When you get in with a group and want to tag all your tweets so that the group can follow them, you will use a ‘hash-code’ or ‘hash-tag’.
  16. A hash code is a special word that you make up and agree to use within your group. Hash codes are not private, and can be used by anyone else, too.
  17. A hash code should be unique, and the prevailing convention is to use a ‘#’ symbol in front of your unique word. An example would be ‘#socialht’.
  18. I would add this hash code to any of my tweets that I want to highlight for the group.
  19. Now, when I go to http://search.twitter.com, I will search for the hash code ‘#socialht’ and be able to see all the comments intended specifically for my group.
  20. You can search for other hash codes, or other topics, to learn what people are saying about you, your company, your favorite band, or anything.
  21. You can tweet from a computer or phone. I use Twittelator and Twitterific for iPhone, but there are others, too.
  22. You may eventually get invited to a ‘Tweetup‘, or a group social where like-minded people come together in person to meet each other and talk in person.
  23. Take a look around our site for interviews and panel discussion about how people use Twitter; it is quite amazing, and incredibly useful once you get a handle on things.

Let me know if you have anything to add to this quick list.

PS: Each line in this article would qualify as a ‘tweet’ in length, and represent a typical comment in Twitter.

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Tweetup: Ash Buckles

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Ash Buckles was one of our expert panelists at the CoWork Utah Tweetup last week.

After inadvertently implying that the other panelists may have put our audience to sleep, Ash Buckles settles in with some solid advice on how to use Twitter in daily activity. What he follows, and why he unfollows. He uses Twitter to promote activities, promote work, and speaking events in which he is involved. Ash was both hired and fired in Twitter (lost a contract). He talks about building trust on Twitter, and credits networking for his successful roll in social marketing leadership.

Ash Buckles has become an icon in the Utah social media scene. His interests are in SEO, blogging, web development, mobile, art, and social media. Ash Buckle’s is passionate about new technologies and spends his free time keeping up with the latest marketing and application techniques. A graduate of BYU in Information Systems and Business Management, Ash is an avid Twitter user, as his followers already know. You can find Ash Buckles online at his blog at http://www.ashbuckles.com/

You can follow Ash Buckles on Twitter at: @ashbuckles

Don’t forget to follow Social Hat on Twitter for occasional updates on social media marketing, more videos and some awesome interviews.

Wash. Rinse. Retweet.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.
Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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Tweetup: Janet Meiners Thaeler

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Janet Meiners Thaeler was one of our expert panelists at the CoWork Utah Tweetup last week.

In her introduction, Janet Meiners Thaeler commits herself as a Twitter Addict. She uses Twitter as her own personal news room, and uses it to get traffic to her NewsPaperGrl blog. Twitter has opened doors for her, including getting her a job. She shares a story about her Twitter profile picture, and has purchased artwork online via Twitter. She has achieved success through Twitter and shares some examples of the connections she has made.

Janet Meiners Thaeler’s passion is online PR and social media. She is an internet marketer and writer specializing in SEO online press releases and blogging—writing for Marketing Pilgrim and OrangeSoda’s blog. She has freelanced for newspapers, City Search, & Connect Magazine. “Why newspapergrl?” she says… “I’ve always been a fan of newspapers. I like reading them (preferably offline) and have freelanced for a few.” You can read all about it at http://www.newspapergrl.com

You can follow Janet Meiners Thaeler on Twitter at: @newspapergrl

Don’t forget to follow Social Hat on Twitter for occasional updates on social media marketing, more videos and some awesome interviews.

Wash. Rinse. Retweet.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.
Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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Tweetup: Jesse Stay

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Jesse Stay was one of our expert panelists at the CoWork Utah Tweetup last week.

In this introduction, Jesse Stay shows he is even tweeting while sitting on a panel. Jesse credits a number of his business opportunities and relationships to Twitter, including his current business relationship with Guy Kawasaki. Jesse gives some incredible examples of his successes and opportunities created from relationships established via Twitter. “There is a lot of power in followers on Twitter.”

Jesse Stay is a well-known blogger and social media advocate. Famous as ‘The Social Geek’, Jesse specializes in Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Twitter, Open Social, and other technologies that enable businesses to better reach their customers in a viral manner. Jesse Stay has developed and consulted for successful social networking applications, some of which currently have over a million users and appear in the top 10 on Facebook. He co-authored two books about Facebook and created SocialToo for Twitter. Find Jesse Stay online at http://staynalive.com/

You can follow Jesse Stay on Twitter at: @jessestay

Don’t forget to follow Social Hat on Twitter for occasional updates on social media marketing, more videos and some awesome interviews.

Wash. Rinse. Retweet.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.
Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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TweetUp: Mick Hagen

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Mick Hagan was one of our expert panelists at the CoWork Utah Tweetup last week.

Mick talks about using Twitter to find new clients and recommends Twitter to conduct research via RSS for specific keywords. He uses Twitter to capture user feedback and understand what is going on with his business, and gives an example of using Twitter to resolve a customer issue, and using Twitter to follow current events.

Mick Hagen left Princeton to start Zinch.com in 2006 and now has more than 600 universities and a half-million students using Zinch.  He was recently named as one of the “Top 40 Professionals Under 40”′ in Utah, and is an avid Twitter user. He’s crazy about technology, sports, design and his wife (and, he says, a few other things as well).  You can read all about it on his blog at http://www.mickhagen.com

You can follow Mick Hagan on Twitter at: @mickhagen

Don’t forget to follow Social Hat on Twitter for occasional updates on social media marketing, more videos and some awesome interviews.

Wash. Rinse. Retweet.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.
Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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Tweetup: Nate Moller

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Nate Moller was one of our expert panelists at the CoWork Utah Tweetup last week.

In Nate’s opening statement he gives a terrific overview of his experience getting Shaquille O’Neil to follow him on Twitter, and a few ideas on how he is following up on the opportunity. He also mentions some interesting blogs and upcoming posts he plans to write.

Nate Moller is a marketing expert with successes at Prosper, Inc. and a range of Internet startups an endeavors. Nate has a passion for helping others understand how to use the Internet to market, and writes about this on his blog at http://mollermarketing.com.

You can follow Nate Moller on Twitter at: @mollermarketing

Don’t forget to follow Social Hat on Twitter for occasional updates on social media marketing, more videos and some awesome interviews.

Wash. Rinse. Retweet.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.
Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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Tweetup: Q&A

You can get to each of our Expert Twitter Panelist’s individual introductions by clicking a link. Otherwise, scroll down for a list of videos we took of the Q&A at our #cwutah Tweetup at CoWorkUtah. Thanks, everyone, for your participation; we can’t wait to do it again!

Individual Intros:

And here are the Q&A vids..

Q&A Part One

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Q&A Part Two

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Q&A Part Three

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Thank you to everyone on our panel, and for all of you who came from great distances to join our Tweetup. We look forward to seeing you at the next one.

Special Thanks to Paul Hadley for recording the event, editing, and posting to YouTube.

Social Hat is Jack Hadley and Cary Snowden. Follow us on Twitter.

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LinkedIn or Facebook?

One of the most common questions I get about social media is ‘LinkedIn or Facebook?’ Many of the business people I work with are already on LinkedIn, and consider Facebook to be a social toy their kids are playing with. Many of those I meet with who are on Facebook consider LinkedIn to be too rigid.

So the question is posed; when constructing my social media strategy, which should I include; LinkedIn or Facebook?

The obvious answer is ‘both’, however there is a reason for each, and they are not the same.

LinkedIn seems to have been designed from a ‘Rolodex™’ viewpoint, and therefore is considered by most of it’s users to be just that: a place to keep your database of contacts. One of the great advantages of LinkedIn is that, as a ‘Rolodex’, the information is usually current and comprehensive. It is literally the best place to look when you want to know where an associate is in their career.

On the other hand, LinkedIn has not caught on as a social meeting place, and is therefore not a great place to nurture and cultivate relationships. For the most part, LinkedIn users send and receive invitations to connect, and that’s it. Not really a whole lot of interaction after ‘I Accept‘. There are reasons for this shortcoming of LinkedIn, not the least of which is that LinkedIn was popularized by the business culture before social networking was introduced to the workplace. Younger business graduates who literally grew up on social networking with MySpace, and later, Facebook, have unintentionally introduced social networking to the business world. And my how things have changed…

Enter Facebook; the fasted growing social network environment on the Web. The fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is the 25-and-older crowd, with many of those listing ‘business executive’ as their background. And while it lacks the professional breadth of LinkedIn, Facebook has a strong suite of social tools that prompt interaction and breed familiarity. Facebook is good at what it does, which is to keep people connected and aware of each other.

There are those who scoff at throwing sheep at each other, or at sharing a favorite YouTube video of Billy Idol. And this type of goofiness is not always appropriate for every business. However, you’d probably be surprised at how many virtual karate chops resulted in a request to meet for lunch, and you would be hard pressed to name a deal that didn’t first get its start on a lunchtime napkin.

So the bottom line is this: you should have a personal LinkedIn account to keep your business associates apprised of your career status, and impressive corporate history. However, if you want to proactively touch the most people at the highest frequency with the least effort; get yourself, and your marketing team, on Facebook.

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The Power of Twitter in Real Time

The United States celebrated Thanksgiving today, which was punctuated by the news of tragic events unfolding in Mumbai, India. And while Fox and CNN provided continuous streams of professional reporting, Twitter offered a continuous stream of raw data and commentary that drew International attention.

In a remarkable acknowledgement to the micro-blogging service, this article about the Mumbai tweets indicates that Indian authorities are appealing to tweeters not to provide strategic information lest they tip off the terrorists.

The power of Twitter can be seen in a Twitter search for ‘Mumbai’. To perform the search, go to http://search.twitter.com/ and type in the word ‘Mumbai‘ into the search field. The resulting page will be a continuous stream of comments generated by anyone posting on Twitter with the hashcode ‘#mumbai’.

Basically you will get a real time stream of comments from people in and around the events; citizen reporters giving the news raw and uncut.

Comments seem to include eye witness accounts of live action, from people who are reporting on what they see in real time. The action is fast and furious, and more exciting at times than watching events unfold on TV.

Twitter is a powerful tool, not only for watching events unfold around the world, but also to perform research on aspects of your social marketing strategy. With a real time stream of feedback, comments, and information about your product, your competitor’s products, and related trends, the amount of instant feedback you can collect is truly amazing.

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Podcast: Paul Allen Talks About Twitter For Business

I spoke with Paul Allen, CEO of FamilyLink.com, about using Twitter for business. Paul is self-described ‘Twitter Addict’, and says he uses Twitter as many as ten times per day to share items, bookmark interesting stories, and get the word out.

Recently, he used Twitter to announce a temporary position in his company. He was able to make a hire “within nine minutes after post”. Now there’s a success story for you! Paul is also using Twitter to share company ideas to the public, and to keep his ‘ear to the track’. He also gives us a hot tip on using Yammer to share information within your business.

Listen to our interview podcast for the rest of the story, and to get in interesting insight into how a successful business executive is using Twitter to build success.

(Duration—8:40)

Paul Allen is the successful entrenpreneur who founded MyFamily.com, 10x Marketing, and FamilyLink.com (including ‘We’re Related’ on Facebook). Paul is a respected leader in the Utah business community, and has achieved global recognition through his blog at http://www.paulallen.net

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